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  1. BTW, stay hydrated on your trip too. There really are bathrooms long the way. (Hey, hubby is the kind of guy who won't drink anything on trips and then wonders why he feels weak and dizzy when we get there.)
  2. @William D'Andrea, Hubby has serious hearing loss, so when he told me to "clean out your ears" several times in a matter of months, I wanted to prove him wrong. (It's not me. It's you. ) So I went for a hearing test to prove him wrong. Ends up, I'm fairly deaf in my right ear. (So that's why music sounds like it's always left of me. And, wow, I didn't know our car made clicking sounds when the door unlocked. ) BUT, the first thing the doctor wanted to do was check me out to find the cause of such rapid hearing loss. Ends up there is no particular reason I lost my hearing, but sometimes it is something worse than just hearing loss. I had to get an MRI to make sure there was nothing in my head that caused it. (I'm still not sure what he was looking for, but the words "growth" was used in such a way it made me nervous.) Often healthcare insurance offers a cheap or free hearing test for us oldsters. (We're not middle-aged anymore, but we're not "elderly" yet.) Mine also gave me a discount on my hearing aid. (Still, expensive, but a third of what it would cost without it.) Now I can hear out of both ears whenever I remember to put my "ear" in. (I know it's a hearing aid, but we tend to call them our ears.) Please, get checked out. 90% chance you just lost your hearing, but it's the other 10% you'd want checked out for possibilities. "Growth" is not a good thing to happen inside your ear and leave unchecked. "Growth" tends to keep growing.
  3. Don't scare me like that. I thought this was forever-farewell, and since I'm a newbie and consider you one of the old timers on here, it startled me. Now. Have fun!
  4. Writing the first draft of my novel was the easiest thing I've done in this whole process of "I want to write a book." Making it good, (reworking, then editing it), was so incredibly hard, I was sure it couldn't get harder. Ummm, yeah, the query made that seem like a dessert party. It really was the hardest thing I ever wrote. BUT, good news -- the 1 page synopsis was easier than anything I've done up to this point. I had a great cheat sheet that even gave me an example I could relate to. (I so hate it when the example given is from some book I've never read, nor ever want to read. This example isn't from any book. It's the first Star Wars movie, aka "A New Hope.") I don't blame you for passing off something that seems too hard to do, but try this page first. Because I think you can do a synopsis by using it as your cheat sheet. (Worse that happens, is you spend a couple of days with fond memories of Star Wars. ) How to Write A 1-Page Synopsis
  5. Some times drugs are a good thing. And sometimes all the side effects don't happen. Despite the over-saturation lately about "the opioid crisis," 97% of those given opioids to combat pain, (usually temporarily after surgery, but sometimes for chronic pain, like me), do not become addicted to it. 3% do. Alley, your list above is for people who become addicted to the drugs. Just like not everyone who drinks becomes an alcoholic, not everyone who takes opioids becomes an addict. There is dependency, if it is used for longer than a week, but that is different than addiction. With dependency, the body accepts it as a need, and goes through withdraw if cut off. This is true with caffeine, nicotine, many different drugs for anything from epilepsy, to heart medication to Restless Limb Syndrome... and it is just as true for pain medication. Addiction is when the brain dwells on it. The substance gives a good-feeling, and the person wants that feeling again and again. That is why people do become addicts to tobacco, (nicotine is a bit of a depressant), caffeine, (it really does give a pick-me-up), opioids, and most of that list. But addiction is usually only within a 3% margin, which honestly can get very bad when we realize that number ranges in the millions. I was an addict when I was young -- pot, diet pills, cigarettes, and alcohol. Through a series of events, and a lot of God in my life, I did get to the point of going through rehab voluntarily, and even ended up getting my first real-job at that rehab afterward. I vowed to stay away from drugs for the rest of my life. However, in 1999, I ended up in chronic pain so bad, the only thing that kept me from killing myself was a promise to my husband. I was so close, I even had a plan on how to hide that it was a suicide, so he could get my life insurance when I died. And the pain was so bad, I still remember the time I was writhing on our living room floor and saw a dead water bug under the sofa, way in the back. (I have a bugphobia. ) After seven months of that kind of pain, and doctors still couldn't figure out the cause, I was put on oxycodone. (5 mg., four times a day.) 20 years later, and I'm on the same amount. Tried to quit (again) last year, but discovered this really does mask the pain to within livable amounts. The Lord did change me drastically since I was young. My focus now is in living for him, instead of the high. Just wanted to add this in case anyone ever truly needs a drug that most think is bad. There wouldn't be opioids, if they didn't have a good purpose too. (Cigarettes? Nothing but stupidity. I could quit all those drugs I misused as a kid, but still stuck on tobacco all these years later. And, yes, have tried everything to quit.)
  6. My mouth has been aching for over three weeks now. No abscesses, no inflammation, not "a tooth," because the whole mouth hurts. It hit shortly before my cold hit, so I assumed it was part of the cold. By the time the cold was passed off to hubby, and then returned to me, I knew it wasn't the cold, but I didn't want the dentist stuck working in a cold-infested mouth, so I held off calling, until the cold was over. It's connected to eating anything that's not room temperature, since cold watermelon hurt so much, I thought I was allergic to watermelon. And then when I ate other cold fruit the same thing happened. Warm dinner has the same effect. It is bad enough I did call the dentist yesterday, so naturally the office was closed. Called again this morning, only to find out they aren't open on the weekend. The answering machine said to leave a message, if it was an emergency. It was yesterday and this morning, so I left a message. Back down to not-so-bad right now, but no one has called back. (Five hours later.) Two can't-miss doctor appointments next week, plus can't-miss food shopping either. Bad enough it woke me up this morning. Very thankful it's down to not-so-bad now. Please pray the dentist can figure out the cause, because I have no idea how he can when it's not a tooth. It's the whole mouth. And please pray it stays down to not-so-bad until it can be dealt with. I considered going to the ER earlier, but I've done that often during another time in my life, and know that usually means spending six to eight hours waiting around for doctor or test results only to be told to go home, because nothing is wrong. (Apparently bad pain is "nothing is wrong." )
  7. I hate to sound like a nurse or Mom, but... Drink more today! Doctors and nurses keep telling me, "Drink at least four 8-ounce glasses of water, along with what you usually drink." (Funny story. I forgot our glasses are 16-ouncers for three days, so I had to get up in the middle of night a few nights, before remembering that. )
  8. First, yay! I can finally see the "how to crit" rules on the critting forum. I was raised by someone with OCD, so I'm very must-follow-rules oriented, even without the perfectionist personality that's supposed to go with OCD. So, this is what I'm not getting. The post said, Does that 3000 word max include my instructions? Funny thing. The help I want is my chapter is too long, and I can't see what isn't necessary. It's 2822 words long and I'd like it to be closer to 2000, so I want help shortening it. BUT, it's also Chapter 1, Book 2, so I have to summarize what happened in Book 1, since no one here has read Book 1. I doubt I can do all that in less than 200 words. So no more than 3000 words with direction and story, or just with story? (Either/or is fine. Just figuring out how to do this in my must-follow-rules mindset.)
  9. 1. That first one was sarcastic, because it's anything but "all I have to do." Kind of feels like looking at a mansion with a can of paint, because someone wants me to paint the whole thing. Reality is I think I finally opened the can of paint, but I don't know what to do with the lid. Still, for now, my goal is to paint the first stroke. I'll worry about the rest of the problems as they arise. (Still stuck figuring where to put the top to the paint. lol) 2. Two months to figure out how to include the inciting incident. Six months and I'm still working on the first chapter. (Tried again today. I think I got it down by 50 words... maybe? I forgot to count.) 3. IRL is "in real life." All the stuff that takes away writing time. You know. Like Mom called. Real life is good, but it keeps distracting.
  10. KR, you sound a lot like me. My mind has been so scattered for the last few years, and it shows in my writing. I've been waiting around for it to focus again, but that didn't work, so I'm going with what I have. Maybe what I'm doing might be something that helps you. Or, better yet, maybe that creative side of you can use my idea as a jumping board and you come up with an even better idea that works for you. But, I'll tell you what I've been up to in hopes it gives you the ideas and confidence to go for your anthology idea, because it sounds like a great idea. So good you gave me an "I wish I'd thought of that one." So, "all I have to do" (famous start to something that was anything but an easy thing ) is write a Chapter 1 of a second book. I'm writing for kids, so a chapter shouldn't be over 2000 words. I've written Book 1, so I have 19 chapters under my belt that tells me I can do that. I've been working on Chapter 1 on and off again for half a year now. Chapter 1 only needs four things for any fiction writer to accomplish: 1. Relatable main character. 2. Inciting incident. 3. Setting. 4. Story-worthy problem. How hard can that be? Oh yeah! Very hard for someone whose mind is scattered. So first time writing it took quite a few tries, because IRL keeps hitting right in the middle of a thought, but I finally got it down. And each time I went back to it I started at the beginning and edited until I got to where I stopped last time. It was really beginning to look good, (a mere three months later), until I noticed a couple of minor details -- the only person who knew what the inciting incident and story-worthy problem was is me. Readers wouldn't get it because I forgot to include that. It took me two months to figure out how to get that in chapter 1. I finally got it in yesterday. Now another little detail has hit. It's supposed to be no more than 2000 words. It's 4000! This is my biggest problem. I don't do short easily. (Does it show?) So, I'm going back at it until it finally gets short. None of this is bad. It doesn't make me bad. It doesn't mean I can't write. It means I'm dealing with scattered brain, so it's taking me longer. Big whoop. It takes longer. June 20, 2020 is coming one year from today. By that date, I'll either be further along than this or I give up. I really like the story too much to give up, so I should be further along by then. Can't you say the same thing? And since we really like the story, what's wrong with working on it longer than most writers? To me that's like telling me, "I'm so very sorry, but I'm going to force you to eat chocolate every day until you like it." Please do. I love chocolate!
  11. Oh, on a humorous note, my hubby was a steamfitter. He and his partner were laughing at how big football players celebrated when they did their jobs. So, after that, every time they packed a valve, replaced pipes, or did anything related to getting their job done right, they'd high-five and do victory dances like they scored a touchdown. So, yeah, sometimes plumbers do go over the top. (Hubby was a heating mechanic. His partner at work was a plumber before they both got that job. So their playful digs at each other were things like, "Yeah, well, you're not a plumber, so you wouldn't know." Followed by, "Yeah, but that's grease under my nails. What's under yours?" )
  12. My off-the-rails came when I was almost ready with my query, but then hubby had a massive heart attack, that took him away for 7 months. He had it two weeks after Trump won, to give some perspective on how long ago it was. Having a dickens of a time getting the wheels all back on the rail. Just fair warning on how many ways we can jump our tracks.
  13. Wow! Tall building to take two minutes. I have a query and #PitMads, so already have the spiel. (Apparently, I have to find an agent on an long elevator ride too. I wonder if it already happened, and I just didn't know. lol)
  14. Trad. pub. works in lots of 1000. Either the agent is going to convince the publisher to print 1000 editions, or nothing. If those 1000 sells, they print more. Same thought with traditional publishers, (which are Big Five to small press, but they are publishers.) And, yeah, ebooks are part of the deal now, usually. Neither has to do with promoting their authors though. Anymore, most promotion, especially for first-timers, is done by the author. Unless your book is that one-in-a-billion that sells fast, (or your famous and write a memoir), promoting in trad. pub. only includes: 1. The agent/publisher promoting you on their social media sites. 2. Blurbs in publishing journals. 3. Possibility of getting a blurb in librarian catalogs. 4. Possibility of stellar reviews on famous book review sites. The rest is up to the author.
  15. I started writing this story in 2010. I started writing fiction, (drabbles, character sketches, poetry -- I stink -- short stories, a couple of novellas, and two other attempts at a novel), in the decade before that. I have a degree in Communications that tended towards helping me land jobs that included business writing. After that started my own business where I had a crash course in marketing, which helped me publish a few nonfiction articles. Became disabled, and just could not imagine being stuck with nothing but nonfiction writing after that. (Bummer, because the money was nice.) So this horse jumped midstream, and I'm still somewhere between wet and muddy. But the marketing background, plus my love of Harry Potter, has helped me get an idea on how to market my heptalogy. I'm not keen on the interactive part of Pottermore, but loved that Rowling added short stories on it. So, I've already written a couple of background stories for a blog for my series. Plan on more. And as the series goes along, I'll add side stories for the different characters that go with the current story. Imagine learning more about Hermione's life away from the story. Or Mrs. Weasley. Or Hagrid. Rowling wanted to move on after HP, and I don't blame her. That was my plan. However, I truly love my characters, (aka also my stuffed animals), so I have no problem writing about them for the rest of my life. And considering one of those novellas and one of the character sketches was about them, it's still holding after 18 years.
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